Roundabouts Mean Fewer Accidents for Cars, Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Long ago Europe embraced and adopted the roundabout as a key part of their transportation system. Their statistics show that accidents involving pedestrians have been reduced by approximately seventy-five percent and attribute that reduction to the vast number of roundabouts populating much of Europe’s highways. The IIHS states regardless of age, pedestrians involved in crashes are more likely to be killed as vehicle speeds increase. In a report on pedestrian injuries recently prepared by the Preusser Research Group for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the authors cite *research concluding
“about 5 percent of pedestrians hit by a vehicle traveling 20 mph will die. The fatality jumps to 40 percent for cars traveling 30 mph, 80 percent for cars going 40 mph, and 100 percent for cars going 50 mph
Roundabouts engineered to reduce speed
Roundabouts are becoming the standard in commuting. Carmel, Indiana is known for its more than 60 roundabouts. Their pedestrian crossing signs and line markings advise the pedestrian of the crosswalks. (Learn more about Carmel’s roundabouts here.) And in 2012, the city of Indianapolis developed plans to add four new roundabouts to the metro transportation grid. Each year, as funds become available, this number will grow.
Bicyclists and Pedestrian Recommendations
Roundabouts can be made safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.The Institute for Highway Safety recommends pedestrians walk the perimeter sidewalk using line markings to cross where necessary. Make yourself visible by wearing brightly colored clothing and make use of eye contact with approaching drivers’ who are intent on getting to their destination. Cyclists are recommended to ride the “middle” of the lane, not on the edge. This reduces confusion among drivers of motor vehicles. Cyclists should signal their turn for as long as possible and also try to make eye contact with drivers if possible. If traffic seems erratic and is overtaking you, pull off on the side and walk your cycle around the roundabout.
Lawyers with Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 85 years of combined experience in personal injury law. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, call Charlie Ward for a free consultation.
By Charlie Ward
* To learn most about the Preusser study, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/pub/